by Kathy Marson
Spokane, Wash., November 4, 2013 - When Steve Rogers, Upper Columbia Conference outreach coordinator instructor, reviews his monthly reports they are anything but boring. Steve says, "I am always thrilled to hear about the miracle of changed lives, especially when I hear about stories like Ben’s.”*
One of the Upper Columbia Conference outreach coordinators met Ben about a year ago. Ben had lost a lot in life due to his addictions. He’d lost his marriage, his self-esteem, his sense of self-worth and his direction. He needed a change. Ben began Bible studies. The more he studied, the more Ben wanted to give up his addictions to prescription narcotics and tobacco. What a joy it was to see God work in Ben’s life and empower him to quit both.
As Ben gained victory over his addiction, his outlook on life began to change. He had hope. He began to focus less on past mistakes, and more on being a new creature in Christ.
At first Ben would sneak into church, sit in the back pew, then leave after the sermon before anyone had a chance to talk with him. Ben’s Adventist friend talked to him about baptism and the significance of this commitment to Jesus. Ben said he'd like to get baptized someday but he wasn't ready yet. That’s when God really began to work.
One week, the church custodian announced he was moving. The church leadership discussed finding someone to take his place. That same week during Bible study, Ben said, “If you hear of any part-time jobs that come available, let me know. I'm looking for more income."
The outreach coordinator told Ben about the janitorial opening at church. Ben applied and was given the job. It enabled him not only to increase his income but to interact with pastoral staff and gain spiritual support.
One morning while working at the church, Ben rushed in and said he had to go. His daughter needed his help. Historically she’d viewed him as the enemy and pushed him away. The church staff asked Ben if he would like to pray before leaving, and he said yes. They prayed that God would change his daughter's heart and make her willing to be helped.
Later that afternoon Ben called and said his daughter responded like never before. She was open to his help and suggestions and agreed to seek treatment. "This is absolutely a miracle" said Ben. "I believe in the power of prayer. I am ready to get baptized."
The outreach coordinator wrote, "Praise God that He changes lives! He meets us where we are, reaches down, takes our hand and leads us on a journey of transformation, a journey out of darkness into His marvelous light."
*Ben is a pseudonym, but he’s a very real person. How many Bens are within your sphere of influence?